Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible talks about baptism, immersion by water in which a believer makes a public confession of their faith. Jesus lead the way in example of water baptism! He identified with sinful man and was baptised by John the Baptist. If you are wondering what it means to be baptized in the Christian faith, these verses should point you in the right direction and help you understand what it means to be baptized.
Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
When one believes the Gospel message of salvation by grace (God’s mercy)through faith, one is born again of the Spirit of God.
The words of Jesus Christ:
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
When a person believes the Gospel, by faith, Jesus Christ comes to dwell in the believer by the power of the Holy Spirit and he or she becomes a new creation in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
The scriptures teach that when a person believes the Gospel, they are accepting that they are separated from God by sin and that on confession of that sin in repentance, (turning away from it and going in the opposite direction) and believing in Jesus Christ as their Saviour they are born again.
It is necessary to confess this new found faith and one way of doing this is by public baptism in water.
This is declaring that you are a Christian and a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus taught that his disciples should go into the world and preach the Gospel and make disciples, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Matt 28:19,20 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
This is what is known as an outward sign of the change that has been done in the life of the believer.
It is showing to the world that one is willing to die to self and rise to a new life in Jesus Christ.
When you go under the water, you are identifying with Christ in His death.
When you come up out of the water, you are identifying with His resurrection from the dead.
Colossians 2:12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
There are examples of this water baptism in the Bible.
Acts 8:37, 38 As they travelled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized? ”
38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
Acts 16 31-33 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.
33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.
Acts 2:38,39 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Romans 6: 3,4 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Whilst water baptism is not essential for salvation, it is obedience to the word of God. It is the witness to the world that one has made the decision to follow Jesus Christ and His way.
Whether you are a new Christian or you have been a Christian for a while, your baptism is a declaration that you are willing to put away your old life and from this time begin to live a new life in Christ.